The Death of SEO Automation

It’s what Google wanted and they’ve pretty much obtained it, at least in my experience. The huge number of automation tools seem to be fairly worthless now, sure you’ll often get a bit of a spike from a SeNuke blast or a few thousand social bookmarks but it doesn’t seem to last and the effects can end up being negative in the long run. That wonderful feeling when your traffic falls off a cliff is the likely end result.

Many of these tools come at quite a significant cost, they’ve also been invested very heavily in – so don’t expect the disciples and affiliates to stop promoting them yet. You’ll still hear tales of great success and wonderful wealth but please take all this with a pinch of salt. One simple test is to start looking at your competitors to see what’s effective.

Let’s Use Market Samurai to have a look at a niche I used to do very well in – casinos and roulette.
Here’s the analysis of the top ten for a competitive term in that niche – one that I know makes serious money (click to enlarge if you want to see the data more clearly).

Now I’ve censored the results a bit as I don’t want to start naming web sites but trust me this is a competitive keyword.  But just look at the top spot for this keyword it’s topped by a new domain (DA – domain age) with just a couple of hundred links (the BLP figure – back links to page) from about a hundred different domains  (the RDD – referring domains).

This simply wouldn’t have happened twelve months ago – you needed a serious number of links to stand a hope of getting on that page.  What this site has done is go for quality, it’s still very definitely targeted this spot but using the new SEO rules rather than the old one.  There simply aren’t thousands of links from web directories or article sites, but just a few links from powerful sites – a DMOZ link, some EDU links and a few related niche links.  No Link wheels, no blog comments, no ten thousand gibberish Wiki links either.

Automation tools simply weren’t used to push this site to a serious money spinning position in a difficult niche.  Have a look at your own niche, look for new sites that have just reached high positions – see what they are doing.  Let’s look a little closer at some of the anchors that have been chosen to link to this site –

Analysis of Anchor Text

You can check out your competitors links and anchor text using the new analysis function in Market Samurai, it’s incredibly useful.  A majority of the anchors are the site name, lots of blanks ones and mixed up text – very few specifically targeted although in my experience this site should probably diversify these even more.  But the point is that in the old World of SEO – pre-Panda and Penguin, you would have needed tens of thousands of exact anchor text links to succeed in this niche – this site doesn’t have these.

You are still going to need links to rank, try and create great content on a new website and see how far it gets you without doing anything else.  The key is that it’s quality not content that counts now, the automation tools never delivered this and I fear their time is gone.